Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 17:27 UK

Obituary: David Carradine

David Carradine - who has been found dead in a Bangkok hotel room at the age of 72 - came from a well-known Hollywood acting family that included his father John and brother Keith.

File photo of David Carradine
David Carradine starred in more than 100 films

He appeared in more than 100 films, but was best known early in his career for his role as Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series Kung Fu, which aired from 1972-75.

He reprised the role for a TV film in the mid-1980s, and played Caine's grandson the following decade in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.

In his time, Carradine performed for leading directors including Ingmar Bergman and Martin Scorsese.

However, from the early 1980s many of the films he made were low budget.

When he was given the chance to really show his form he was a very good actor indeed
Mark Kermode
Film critic

The two-part Kill Bill series saw Carradine return to prominence.

In a BBC interview in 2003, Carradine described the Kill Bill films as "some of my best work".

"For the first time for a large audience, I'm not doing an accent or a funny walk or pretending to be somebody else. It was written, really, around me."

For Kill Bill, Carradine said Tarantino would take clothes and artwork from his house because he "wanted the character [he was creating] to be as much like me as possible".

"We'd smoke a cigar in the evening and talk and talk and talk, and a week later there's a rewrite and it has that conversation in it. I talk endlessly," he said.

"Basically I'm doing the Samuel L Jackson part in this movie. I'm just talking my head off, in between killing people."

David Carradine as Caine in the Kung Fu TV series
Carradine made his name in the TV series Kung Fu

Film critic Mark Kermode said Carradine was one of a group of actors who did lots of work in many different genres, and was considered by Tarantino as a cult star.

"He was a jobbing actor, he worked all the time," he said.

"He was somebody who could really turn his hand to everything, and I think that's probably why Quentin Tarantino admired him."

Carradine also had a magnetic quality that allowed him to make unremarkable films look interesting, he said.

"He was very charismatic, he was somebody the camera obviously loved, but he was also somebody who understood how to hit a mark.

"When he was given the chance to really show his form he was a very good actor indeed."

Carradine is survived by his wife, Annie Bierman, and four children.



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